*** jury was seated today in Vanessa Bryant’s lawsuit against Los Angeles County. The suit is over those disturbing photos that were taken of the deadly helicopter crash that killed her husband Kobe Bryant, her daughter Gianna and seven other people. Newsies national correspondent James Packard is live for us in Los Angeles and James. What do we know about how this court fight is going to play out? Yeah, well they seated those 10 jurors today, six women, four men in this federal trial now. And Vanessa Bryant says that the county of course was negligent in allowing those photographs to be taken and then shared among deputies in one case at least *** deputy sharing *** photo of Kobe Bryant at *** bar with *** bartender who was there. They only found out about this because someone overheard that conversation and alerted the Sheriff’s department. Now the sheriff said that he offered no discipline to those deputies if they would come clean, come forward and delete all of those photographs. Nonetheless, Vanessa Bryant still thinks there’s *** chance those photos could end up in the public sphere. They have not been in any media, they have not been online so far, but she worries that they could be and so she is suing for those damages. Now at the same time, the Sheriff’s department says the photographs themselves aren’t the ones that caused mental anguish inst that it was the fatal crash that caused that mental anguish. But Vanessa Bryant had said in *** deposition tied to this lawsuit that she had *** direct conversation with the Los Angeles County sheriff the day of the accident and said to him, if you can’t bring my husband and my baby back, at least make sure you secure that scene and don’t allow anyone to take any photographs. And she says he told her I will. So Del obviously that didn’t entirely happen. These photographs somehow were able to end up on people’s phones. They have since been deleted from those phones and those phones replaced that inability to preserve some of the digital evidence. Dell will end up being *** key piece of this trial. James. Thank you. One of those days where everybody remembers where they were. James Packard for us live in Los Angeles tonight.

Kobe Bryant crash scene photos shared during awards ceremony cocktail hour, witness says

Photos taken at the scene of the fatal helicopter crash that killed NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others were shared by a Los Angeles County firefighter during the cocktail hour at an awards ceremony a month after the crash, according to witness testimony.On Wednesday, the trial was launched for a federal civil lawsuit filed by Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, which claims that photos from the January 2020 crash were shared by county fire and sheriff’s department employees in settings irrelevant to the investigation, including at a bar.Former emergency medical technician and wife of a Los Angeles firefighter, Luella Weireter, testified in court on Friday that during the Radio and Television News Association of Southern California’s Golden Mike awards in February 2020, she saw LA County firefighter Tony Imbrenda share photos of Bryant’s remains and other images from the crash site with ceremony attendees.Many firefighters attended the media event, which was also honoring fire department public information officers for their work informing the public about wildfires.After a small group of people at her table convened to look at images on a cell phone, in what Weireter characterized as being like a party trick, she testified about seeing one firefighter break away from the group, saying, “I can’t believe I just looked at Kobe’s burnt up body and now I’m about to eat.”After that comment, Vanessa Bryant could be seen in the courtroom with her head in her hands, rocking back and forth, crying.Weireter is the cousin of Keri Altobelli, who, along with her husband John and daughter Alyssa, also perished in the helicopter crash.About two weeks after the awards ceremony, Weireter drove to a county fire station in Malibu and filed an official complaint with a battalion chief, she testified. That same day, the LA County Fire Chief called her to follow up.On Thursday afternoon, Vanessa Bryant walked out of court during testimony that described photos taken at the scene of the crash. She became emotional when Victor Gutierrez, a bartender, was asked if he had seen the body of her daughter, Gianna Bryant, in the images. Gutierrez had been describing what he saw in the photos shown by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy at a bar on a prior date.Bryant cried, stood up and her attorney asked the presiding judge permission for Bryant to leave the courtroom.Bryant did not return for the remainder of Gutierrez’s testimony, which continued with a series of surveillance clips from the bar he was working at on Jan. 28, 2020 — two days after the crash and a month before the awards ceremony. Gutierrez described wincing at the photos and then admitted to telling the condition of the victims’ bodies to five sets of people.The trial is expected to last about two weeks and witnesses will likely include Vanessa Bryant and LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva. The suit, which was filed in September 2020, seeks undisclosed damages and claims civil rights violations, negligence, emotional distress and violation of privacy.A jury of six women and four men was selected for the case. They include a nun, someone who works in TV production for NBC Universal, a college student, a real estate investor, a pharmaceutical researcher, a computer science professor and a restaurant host.

Photos taken at the scene of the fatal helicopter crash that killed NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others were shared by a Los Angeles County firefighter during the cocktail hour at an awards ceremony a month after the crash, according to witness testimony.

On Wednesday, the trial was launched for a federal civil lawsuit filed by Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, which claims that photos from the January 2020 crash were shared by county fire and sheriff’s department employees in settings irrelevant to the investigation, including at a bar.

Former emergency medical technician and wife of a Los Angeles firefighter, Luella Weireter, testified in court on Friday that during the Radio and Television News Association of Southern California’s Golden Mike awards in February 2020, she saw LA County firefighter Tony Imbrenda share photos of Bryant’s remains and other images from the crash site with ceremony attendees.

Many firefighters attended the media event, which was also honoring fire department public information officers for their work informing the public about wildfires.

After a small group of people at her table convened to look at images on a cell phone, in what Weireter characterized as being like a party trick, she testified about seeing one firefighter break away from the group, saying, “I can’t believe I just looked at Kobe’s burnt up body and now I’m about to eat.”

After that comment, Vanessa Bryant could be seen in the courtroom with her head in her hands, rocking back and forth, crying.

Weireter is the cousin of Keri Altobelli, who, along with her husband John and daughter Alyssa, also perished in the helicopter crash.

About two weeks after the awards ceremony, Weireter drove to a county fire station in Malibu and filed an official complaint with a battalion chief, she testified. That same day, the LA County Fire Chief called her to follow up.

On Thursday afternoon, Vanessa Bryant walked out of court during testimony that described photos taken at the scene of the crash. She became emotional when Victor Gutierrez, a bartender, was asked if he had seen the body of her daughter, Gianna Bryant, in the images. Gutierrez had been describing what he saw in the photos shown by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy at a bar on a prior date.

Bryant cried, stood up and her attorney asked the presiding judge permission for Bryant to leave the courtroom.

Bryant did not return for the remainder of Gutierrez’s testimony, which continued with a series of surveillance clips from the bar he was working at on Jan. 28, 2020 — two days after the crash and a month before the awards ceremony. Gutierrez described wincing at the photos and then admitted to telling the condition of the victims’ bodies to five sets of people.

The trial is expected to last about two weeks and witnesses will likely include Vanessa Bryant and LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva. The suit, which was filed in September 2020, seeks undisclosed damages and claims civil rights violations, negligence, emotional distress and violation of privacy.

A jury of six women and four men was selected for the case. They include a nun, someone who works in TV production for NBC Universal, a college student, a real estate investor, a pharmaceutical researcher, a computer science professor and a restaurant host.



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